Wednesday, June 15, 2005

TV On DVD - June 14, 2005 - Part 2

Here's the second half of this week's DVD List

Reno 911! The Complete Second Season
- I've never seen this series even though it airs on the Comedy Channel up here in Canada. I really should try it since it sounds like something I might enjoy, if only because it satirizes one of the dumbest shows on TV: Cops.

Rosemary And Thyme: Series One
- Another show that I missed because it didn't sound like my cup of Earl Grey (hot). Still it has Felicity Kendall (and her bottom, although admittedly at nearly 60 it isn't as nice as it was 30 years ago in The Good Life) and it combines those two great British obsessions, quirky mysteries and gardening. I'll probably look for it next time I get the chance.

Saved By the Bell: The New Class - Season 3
- Never saw it... and never wanted to see it even though I probably could have found it. I was a little too old and not at all interested by the time this or the original series were on Saturday mornings.

Thomas The Tank Engine: And Friends: Best Of James
Thomas The Tank Engine: James Learns A Lesson

- My 2 1/2 year old nephew's favourite words currently seem to be "Watch Thomas again." He has a DVD set of three episodes but tends to like just the one where Cranky the Crane falls down. The Thomas the Tank Engine series is outstanding entertainment for kids (and some of us adults who love trains like them too). Based on the stories by the Reverend W. Awdry, these are gentle stories about teamwork and friendship. Children's television, particularly in the US tends to be frenetic and noisy and the gentle approach in this series reminds me of the Canadian childrens shows when I was growing up. The three DVD set is highly recommended (and it comes with a toy).

Tilt: The Complete First Season
- Haven't seen this series, which started earlier this year on ESPN. Michael Madsen stars as poker player Don Everest, "the Matador", and the series looks at the dark underside of professional poker, although it seems clear that at least some of the stuff that supposedly happens in the show is extremely far fetched.

Two's Company: The Complete Series 3
- Releases on next week. That this is a completely enjoyable series is due entirely to the casting of Donald Sinden as Robert the butler opposite Elaine Stritch as Dorothy. Their personalities mesh like they'd been working together for years, alternately warm and squabbling. A delight

Walker Texas Ranger: Final Season
- I don't know what's more amazing: that this series lasted as long as it did (1993-2001, on Saturday nights), or that I watched close to every episode. Of course I was heaping large amounts of ridicule on it - the acting frequently made "wooden" seem like a compliment and as Chuck got older his signature moves seemed to slow down to the point where you couldn't tell if you were seeing them in slow motion or not. Don't even get me started on the theme song or the way that the opening credits sometimes extended to about 15 or 20 minutes into the show. And yet the stupid thing was usually fun to watch.

What's New Scooby-Doo?: Volume 5 Sports Spooktacula
- Okay I never watched Scooby-Doo. They didn't show it locally (they tended to be fixated on the Flintstones at the local station) and I didn't go out of my way to see it. Based on the main content of the disc - Scooby-Doo All-Stars Meet the Home Run King, Hank Aaron - I'd say that the episode on this one came from 1979 or so.

These DVDs were delayed by

World Poker Tour: Bad Boys Of Poker
- Another individual World Poker Tour DVD, this time featuring the "Bad Boys of Poker" - Paul "The Truth" Darden, Phil "The Unabomber" Lahk, Dave "Devilfish" Ulliot, Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari, and Gus "The Great Dane" Hansen, along with a poor dumb schlub named Mark Richards, a bank teller from Illinois who made the final table off of a satellite tournament. Except for the small number of extras I think you'd probably be better off with the Complete Season 2 set.

The Best of Dudley Do-Right, Volume 1
The Best of Mr. Peabody And Sherman Volume 1

- I'm pretty sure that Dudley Do-Right started on The Bullwinkle Show - or whatever title it was going under at the time since there were several - was banished from TV here abouts. I did see most of them years later though. Do I really need to mention that both it and Mr. Peabody And Sherman were brilliant. The voice actors alone - Bill Scott, June Foray, Paul Frees, Hans Conreid, Walter Tetley, and of course William Conrad - were enough to assure that. But there was more. While the principal audience may have been children (or so the network executives thought) the humour was sharp and sophisticated for adults to enjoy it too.

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